Updates on Red Electric, Waud Bluff, and Westside Trail projects

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Cover of new brochure to
promote Red Electric Trail.

My inbox is full of updates on major multi-use path projects happening in and around Portland, so I’ve decided to round them up into one post. (And yes, you’ll notice I don’t like to refer to them as “trail” projects, even though that word is in their official names. I just feel that the word “trail” only perpetuates the false notion many people have that these paths are for recreation and shouldn’t be considered serious transportation corridors… which they are.)

New brochure aims to build momentum for Red Electric Trail

When complete, the Red Electric Trail will connect the Fanno Creek Trail in Beaverton to Portland’s Southwest Waterfront district. As per usual, the planning and actual construction has been agonizingly slow (Portland City Council released a study of the trail in 2007); but lately things are on the upswing. According to project volunteer Cole Trusty with SW Trails, Portland Parks & Recreation is actively negotiating right-of-way with property owners along the route, a new bridge at the western end of the project is set to be built next summer, and other pieces are falling into place. Trusty recently shared a new brochure (PDF) he just made to “develop the community support necessary to maintain momentum” on the project (PDF). The brochure is full of great background information on the project and it comes with a quality route map. He’s already passed out 1,000 copies and plans to keep on giving them out. Trusty says there’s also a new video on the works and there’s even a new Facebook page you can “Like” to stay updated.

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Steepness, stairs will limit bike access on new Waud Bluff Trail

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Detail of new sign
that will be posted at
entrance to Waud Bluff Trail.

Next Tuesday, officials from the City of Portland Parks and Recreation bureau will join community leaders at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Waud Bluff Trail; a short, paved path that will connect North Portland and Swan Island near the University of Portland.

After six years of waiting, Swan Island businesses, trail advocates, and thousands of residents eager for safer and more direct access to the Willamette River have rejoiced at seeing this project move forward.

Unfortunately, for people riding bikes (and others using wheeled modes of transport), the trail will present several challenges.

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